Chapter 2: Sustainable Innovation
87 Sustainable Development, Ecological Modernisation and Jobs: How quality of life is interlinked with nature conservation Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, Dipl.-Vw. Tobias Schleicher (Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy) Abstract This paper links the ecological, economic and social dimensions of sustainable development glob- ally and for Germany referring to the concept of decoupling economic growth (quality of life) from the use of nature. The starting point is the severe crisis of the global financial and economic system as well as of the planet’s ecosystems. To fight against a collapse of the international financial system with stimuli programs it has been argued that policies in favour of climate and resource protection have to be postponed. However, studies for Germany and the EU have shown that an opposite strat- egy might be valid: For Germany it has been demonstrated that win-win policies for economic recov- ery can be successfully combined with ecological modernisation, climate and resource protection. There is some evidence that in general this integrated strategy can bring the world’s economies closer to a sustainable development path by simultaneously approaching the ecological and economic challenges. Deciding for such a pathway implies changing gradually the traditional unsustainable investment, production and consumption patterns of the 20th century into consequent and comprehen- sive investments in greener and cleaner technologies. This structural change into more decentral- ized and renewable power systems is already happening in the energy sector of the EU. With support- ing state frame conditions these policies can effectively create new business...
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